Friday, March 26, 2021

Independence at what cost?

 Independence at what cost?

Let me give you another twist of the story. General belief is that on this date in 1945, Japan surrendered to Lord Mountbatten in WW II, and therefore he selected this day, considering it lucky. 

But as all know, Winston Churchill was not in favour of giving independence to India. He had dislikes for Gandhi. He lost the elections in 1945 after winning the WW II but his party was in majority in the upper house of British Parliament. His support was necessary to pass the India Independence Act 1947. He was in touch with Jinnah since the Pakistan Resolution was passed in 1940. When INC didn’t support British in WW II, he put all INC important leaders behind the bar for three years. He agreed to Mountbatten’s partition plan and as soon as both the parties agreed to join Commonwealth, the date of independence was preponed. They knew that India was sitting on a volcano of civil war. They knew the event of Naval mutiny in Karachi, Mumbai and other ports in 1946. It was utmost necessary to transport all British civilians and families back home safely. Once it was achieved, the decision was to divide the nation at the earliest.

What was that urgent need? 

Jinnah was on death sentence of tuberculosis. His Chronic Cariating Pulmonary Tuberculosis was diagnosed by his physician Parsi Doctor Jal Ratanji Patel in June 1946. His attitude to life moved into mission mode to win Pakistan. He used blessed month of Ramadan for his Direct Action Day agitation of 16 August 1946. It was Friday, the 18th day of Ramadan, the day associated with the battle of Badr which resulted in Prophet Muhmmad’s first decisive victory. 

It was played that British Secret Service and Mountbatten were unaware of the illness of Jinnah. But it couldn’t be true. The treatment drug for tuberculosis streptomycin was not available freely and couldn’t go unnoticed by any of the whites. Jinnah had many sittings with the British, his uneasiness couldn’t go unrecognised. Churchill and Mountbatten knew his disease and therefore were in hurry to execute partition plan before Jinnah’s death.

Why 15 August? One more argument goes in favour of Jinnah. It was Ramadan 1366 AH, the blessed month for Muslims, during which the gates of heaven are open. The day 15 August was Friday, the last Friday of Ramadan, a day of charity and wishing for others. On a night Layalat Qadr (night of power), (one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan) which is better than a thousand months, Jinnah gifted a Nation Pakistan (land of pure) to his Muslims. 

At what cost? History is written after crossing the boundaries of sentiments. Jinnah wrote history between two Ramadan and won Pakistan.


20 May 2020

NB: He was Mamad (Muhammad) but became famous as Jinnah, after his father’s name, Jinabhai Punjabhai Thakkar.


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